Parish pump Lewes - February 21, 2014

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Barcombe

ALLOTMENTS: What we can do to make the allotment a more social place, where we can meet our neighbours (many of us go up there and there is no-one else around), and create more of an allotment community. This is a proposal, starting March 2: A social event in the form of an informal Sunday late morning meet up, on the first Sunday of each month from March to October when people are up there more. From 11.30am to 12.30pm. Here we can seed swap, seedling swap, produce swap, and if you haven’t got anything to swap, bring cake. If it is a short event, but is regular, then it will be a successful meet. We can bring a flask and cup, and just have a bit of a natter, discuss issues and get to know each other a bit more.

BARCOMBE WI: It was fortuitous that a day of rain and wind was replaced by a clear evening so that thirty members and six visitors could meet at the village hall to enjoy a talk by Ian Everest on the Women’s Land Army. The discovery that his mother had joined the Land Army prompted Ian to look further into its formation and the life of the girls and women who volunteered. As WI members it was interesting for us to hear that Lady Denman, who was central to the setting up of the first Women’s Institutes (as they were then called) was the person given the task of organising the Women’s Land Army when the Second World War was imminent. Lessons had been learned during the First World War when efforts had been made to use women to produce food, which was in short supply because of the U-boat blockade.The many photographs, newspaper cuttings and posters with which Ian illustrated his talk, made it easy to listen to and very entertaining. One of the posters was of the Downs with horses and tractors ploughing up land pasture. It was the Government’s aim to plough up two million acres of grassland so that wheat could be produced to make bread. There was a need to replace the men who had gone to fight so that this aim could be achieved. By 1943 there were 63,000 land girls employed in all areas of agriculture including catching the rats that multiplied with the increased production of grain. The hours were long, a 48 hour week in winter and upwards of fifty-two hours in summer all for twenty-four shillings (about £1.40). Although they had made a huge contribution to the war effort, Ian said that it was very sad that the surviving members of the Women’s Land Army were not allowed to take part in the Remembrance Sunday march past at the Cenotaph until 2000 and didn’t receive badges in recognition of their service until 2007, by which time most of them had died. After refreshing ourselves with coffee and cakes, we moved on to the business part of the meeting. Everyone had enjoyed the evening meal at Al Duomo in Brighton and plans for a trip to the Houses of Parliament in May were discussed together with a proposed backstage visit to The Dome, Brighton. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday March 11.

Chailey

JUMBLE SALE at the village hall tomorrow, Saturday, at 11am. Donations of jumble would be much appreciated from 9am.

ASTRONOMY IN THE PUB, in association with BBC Stargazing Live and the Brighton Science Festival, is tomorrow, Saturday, from 6pm until midnight at the Horns Lodge. For more information email Richie Jarvis at richie@nebul.ae or visit http://nebul.ae

CHURCH SERVICES: St Peter’s Church, Sunday, Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion 8am, Parish Communion 10am. For transport call Peter Martin on 01825 722680 or Teresa Wenban on 01825722586. Free Church, Sunday, 10.30am with Derek Heyman and 6.15pm with Peter Cottingham to include communion. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served after the service.

INFORMATION POINT session is on Friday February 28 when the parish clerk will be at the Coffee Stop, Free Church, from 10am to midday to assist with any questions you may have.

BLOFELD & BAXTER Two Man Show at the Cumnor House Theatre on Friday February 28 to raise money for Chailey Heritage Foundation. It will be a show full of memories from Test Match Special commentary boxes all over the world. Anecdotes never before heard from the last 40 years. For tickets visit www.justgiving.com/blofeld-and-baxter or contact the fundraising team at Chailey Heritage Foundation on 01825 724752.

VOLUNTEERING at the Bluebell Railway. Whether you have skills or no previous experience and can offer at least a day a month you are invited to find out more about volunteering in the various departments at the railway. To help you narrow your choice of departments you can ask for a recruitment pack on 01825 720800 or book a place on one of the find out more tours that operate on the first Sunday of every month, until November. The next tour is on Sunday March 2 starting at 10.30am at the classroom at Sheffield Park Station and finishing around 4.20pm.

MORE INFORMATION and contact details for the Brambles Bakery at Chailey Heritage Foundation I now have. It is a venture run by Barbara Spencer, an ex-pastry chef, to raise funds for special outings for the young people who reside at the Foundation full time. From its concept in September 2013 the bakery has catered for small functions locally and Barbara’s high quality cakes, as I mentioned last week, are available at Townings Farm Shop. For more information contact Barbara at bspencer@chs.org.uk.

THE NATURE OF GOD’S ACRE is a survey which seeks to investigate the relationship between nature and spirituality in churchyards across Sussex and St Peter’s has been asked to participate. The Diocese would like as many people as possible to complete the questionnaire. This includes church staff, parishioners and members of the local community who use the churchyard. Those with access to a computer are asked to log into the survey at http://ow.ly/rOPeU. The survey takes just a few minutes and will help the diocese to get a full picture of the value our beautiful churchyard has.

HEATING OIL CONSORTIUM has been in existence for just over a year and has about. 80 members who are all saving a reasonable amount on each litre of heating oil bought. There is still room for about another 20 members and the next order time will be at the end of February, beginning of March. If you wish to join the Consortium just e-mail your name, address, and phone number to Peter Todd at emptybn8@hotmail.com.

SPEED WATCH: Community Speed Watch recently went live in Chailey beside the A272 and A275 and for an hour or so on selected days they’ve been spotting and reporting speeding traffic in a bid to make the villager safer. But they are only a small team and they need more helpers. Taking part only involves three hours a month, on days to suit you, and volunteers are provided with training arranged with liaison officer CPSO Steven Knowles, high vis jackets, warning signs and friendly company from other residents equally determined to make our village safer. If you would like to know more please contact Peter Estcourt by email page44@waitrose.com or on 01273 400791.

Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Peter’s Church, Holy Communion 8am, Sunday School in the church hall 10.15am, Parish Communion 10.30am followed by coffee in the hall.

PILATES: Amy hopes to begin sessions on Wednesday evenings at 7pm in St Peter’s Church Hall on February 26. Call Judith on 01273 474356 for more details.

SUSSEX POLICE CHOIR Tuesdays in the village hall, Beechwood Lane 7pm. New members welcome.

QiGONG CLASSES started in the village hall on February 6. Thursday mornings 9am to 10am.

AFTERNON CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club meet again on Marcy 10 in St Peter’s Church Hall at 2pm. The speaker will be Brian Walter who will be showing slides of New Zealand (part 2). Lifts available by ringing Judith on 474356 or Caroline on 477151. Meetings are open to all retired members of the parish and there is always cakes and plenty of time to chat.

PARISH COUNCIL: Hamsey Parish Council meet on Thursday March 13 at 7.30pm in the village hall. At the January meeting it was announced that there was a vacancy on the council. If you want to find out more contact Jenni Toomey, the parish clerk. It was also confirmed at the January meeting that the precept (payable from council tax) will be held a the current level for the financial year 2014 to 2015. The council also agreed to make the following grants: Hamsey Festival 2014 up to £1,500; Offham Church, £500 towards mowing costs at Hamsey Church; Citizens Advice Bureau £50; Red Cross £50.

HAMSEY FINGERPOST: The broken post at the end of Hamsey Lane has been put back in place and thanks are due to Rose and Martin Armstrong and Paul Wren from Coombe Place for storage and transportation, to Richard Heanley and Colin Mockford at Studio Forge for supplying the metal sleeve and Jim Edwards and his group of helpers for repairing and fitting the post. More thanks are due regarding the bench on Offham Hill which had to be removed due to the cost of public liability insurance which would have fallen on the Westbrook family who supplied the bench in memory of Ray Westbrook who loved the view over the Ouse Valley. Happily Hamsey Parish Council have been able to add the bench to its liability insurance without additional cost. Richard Heanley and his team at Studio Forge repaired and repainted the bench which is now back in position on the plateau. It is also a big thank you to Richard for allowing the bench to be sited on his land.

MERIDIAN SIGN: Hamsey Parish Council have approved the funding of a sign to show where the Greenwich Meridian passes through the parish at Hamsey Common, which was subject to planning permission being granted by LDC. ESCC Highways had already agreed to provide the necessary licence. This was the brainchild of Brian Bates from Cooksbridge.

IDENTITY CARD: A new identity and discount card is available for young people in East Sussex. The 3i-D card enables young people to prove their age in cinemas, bars and shops, claim age appropriate fares and selected reduced fares on bus travel and enjoy discounts in shops and leisure outlets. The scheme is available for young people aged 11 to 19 years who live, work or study in East Sussex. Two versions are available, for under 16s and 16 to 19 years respectively, for a one-off charge of £12. The card is free to young people from families entitled to free school meals. The under 16 card ensures youngsters can claim child fares on all East Sussex bus routes through all companies. The 16 to 19 card offers child fares for off-peak travel on Stagecoach buses only. Details at www.3id.co.uk

Falmer

OUTAGE: At last it seems as though there may be an improvement in the weather and a break in the relentless round of storms and rain. Last weekend’s storm brought a tree down on a power line near Ridge Road and the eight houses that had to endure a power cut all over Christmas were affected again. Fortunately, this time the power was only off for one night. Let’s hope this is an end to the terrible weather and we can all dry out and take stock.

SQUIRRELS: I have invested in some new ‘squirrel proof’ bird feeders. I use inverted commas as I am not convinced that any feeder is completely squirrel proof, the pesky little rascals are so ingenious. They are still swinging on the feeders and managing to get something out of them, although the peanuts are (thankfully) not disappearing quite as fast as they were.

WINTERBOURNE: The river that used to appear in the field near the Kingston roundabout during very wet weather had surfaced again last Sunday for the first time in many years. We were setting off to go to lunch with friends in Lewes (very delicious it was too) and were held up for at least half an hour as one lane of the A27 was closed due to water on the road.

EASTER: Plans for the Easter Exhibition at St Laurence are coming on with some fine artists signed up to take part and some really beautiful poetry already received. I hope we will be able to have some booklets of the poetry printed with accompanying illustrations as we had last year.

Firle

THE GARDEN is still like a very luxurious carpet, Eric and Elsie continue to squabble with the resident bird population for the nuts, their palette being a little too refined for the fat balls. It always amazes me how the beautiful crocuses know when to open in the morning and close up for the night, mother nature is amazing. The snowdrops have a little more purpose, they seem to stretch up more when bathed in sunlight. I can’t be absolutely sure but I could swear that the Norwegian Spruce was showing a hint of green, we keep our fingers crossed.

THE VILLAGE HALL saw the amazing Firle Factor, over 100 people saw the children at their best, lots of whooping and shouting and a grand time was had by all.

QUIZ NIGHT: Tonight, Friday, is bonfire quiz at the hall starts at 7.30pm and includes food. Tickets cost £8 and it is teams up to six people. So do come along and enjoy.

OVER 50S meeting on Monday, we have a small agenda. Next meeting is March 17, and then April 28 and May 20 when we will be going to High Beeches for the afternoon, and then on June 16 a picnic lunch at the Cricket Pavilion.

SEVERAL YEARS AGO circa 1989 my wife and I went to Brighton for a light supper with good friends on leaving around 11pm we drove back to Firle, the night was bitterly cold and a blanket of fog made it a slow drive home. On turning off the A27 the gates of Firle Place were open, the park was shrouded in fog and created a layer pattern, you could only drive at 5mph. It was surreal beautiful but strange. Three quarters up the drive I saw two people on my right I asked Penny did she see and she said ‘Who wants to be out at 11.30pm on such a night.’ I stopped and saw two children a boy of 10 years and a girl of five to six years. Their dress was of late Victorian style and the boy had his jacket over the girl’s shoulder. Suddenly I could see nothing and slowly drove home. I said to Penny you saw like me, I need to go out again to the park, I drove around towards Horse Pond and back down the drive not a sight of anything. Next day I was told off by the farmer for driving over the park. Anyway weeks later I related what we had seen to some elderly residents and was told of a story that two young children had ran away from their drunken father and were trying to get to their grand parents in Alciston. As I was told it they were found huddled in a hedge together and they died of hypothermia. As I remember the night in November it was bitterly cold, freezing and foggy. Fact, fiction, true, false, a figment of our imagination. No. It will be with us forever.

Kingston

FAMILY DISCO: Do come to a Family Disco on Saturday, March 1 from 6pm to 9pm. This will be a lively fun evening for all adults and children from approx five years of age upwards. All children must be accompanied by an adult, but mums and dads are also very welcome to come on their own for a good night out. John Crabb (Jaycee) will be providing the music to enjoy and to dance to. If you wish, you can choose your favourite songs by sending an e-mail beforehand to john.crabb70@gmail.com. Free nibbles and squash drinks for all and a cash bar for adults serving beer, wine and soft drinks. Get your tickets now, at just £2.50 each for both adults and children, from Brenda Neller (472720), Brian Simmons (474303) or Jennie Yates (473264). Net proceeds to Kingston Church.

Lewes

AT ST JOHN’S this Sunday, which is the 2nd Sunday before Lent, our Morning Service will be at 11am with Rev Dick Field officiating. Tony Idle will be preaching the second of a series on the chapters of The Acts of the Apostles, and its meaning to Churches in Lewes as they plan God’s Vision for Our Town. As Lewesians know, St John’s has the most wonderful acoustics and to do it justice and help with the restoration project, our own Susan Bain will be playing our beautiful organ for all to enjoy tomorrow, Saturday. the Organfest starts at 10am, ending at 3pm when Susan, who is a most accomplished musician, will be playing classical and popular pieces with time for coffee and cakes and the purchase of CDs. As an Organfest all are invited to simply drop in whenever you can and treat yourselves. We hope to see you there as it will be a performance not to be missed. And now a pat on the back for the generous folks of Lewes who gave much needed shoeboxes full of food for the hungry in Eastern Europe. I believe the grand total was 34,000 boxes. Well done for Lewes’ contribution.

SOUTHOVER CHURCH runs a professional counselling service with qualified, accredited counsellors who are also committed Christians. Referrals are accepted from health professionals and GPs. The service is available irrespective of belief and ability to pay the full costs. At present the cost of the service is £40 per session (£45 for couples). However, there is a sponsorship fund available to support those unable to meet the full cost. To make an appointment or find out more about Southover Counselling please telephone 07852 221449; or look at the website at www.southovercounselling.org.uk; or you can find a leaflet in the Welcome Pack at the back of the church. Last weekend 27 of our young people between the ages of 11 and 19 years went to Dalesdown, a Christian residential activity centre near Worthing, accompanied by 12 leaders. The guest speaker came over from Prague especially for us. Activities included late night football, self-esteem workshops and marshmallows round a bonfire. Everyone had a marvellous time and deepened their faith. Services this Sunday: 8am communion; 10am morning service; 11.15am informal service (church hall); 6.30pm informal service with musicians and singers. Do join us if you can.

LEWES PASSION PLAY group invite you to come and find out more about Lewes Passion Play 2015 at a bring and share supper with light entertainment on Saturday March 8. Meet 7pm for 7.30pm at Christ Church, Prince Edward’s Road. Please bring either a main course or a dessert to share, and a bottle. All ages are welcome. RSVP on 07926 486567, email towardslewes2015@gmail.com.

CANCER RESEARCH: Lewes Cancer Research urgently need someone to help organise the busy bookshelves in their refurbished shop at the bottom of School Hill, opposite Boots. You don’t have to be a literary expert, although understanding the difference between chick- lit and crime thrillers, between historical and science fiction would help. You would have to be willing to put in a few hours each week and be ready to join a team where the accent is on making voluntary work as much fun as possible. If you think you could help book sales to beat cancer, they’d love to hear from you. Give Samantha Maple, the Manager a call on 01273 486033.

Malling

SOUTH MALLING SCHOOL wishes all their children and parents/carers a happy and safe half term holiday. Children start school again on Tuesday. There is an Inset (staff training) day on Monday in which all the staff will be involved in designing a new curriculum map to meet the requirements of the revised National Curriculum that comes into operation in September. The head teacher, Jo O’Donoghue says, ‘We are keen to maintain our exciting and purposeful whole school learning journeys that are enjoyed by the children and which also involve the parents every term when they come to our open afternoons.’

SOUTH MALLING CHURCH: Following Holy Communion last Sunday, Revd Steve Daughtery, the Rector of Southover, met the congregation to talk about plans for a coming together of South Malling Parish with Southover and St John sub Castro. Revd Daughtery, who will become the Vicar of the proposed larger parish if it comes into being, urged his audience to ask about everything that potentially troubles them about the proposals, and not to be afraid of sounding negative. A large proportion of church members had stayed behind and many of them spoke. One member told me that everyone had had a chance to say what was on their mind and the questions were well received. She said they were sensible and reasonable, and covered a wide area of issues which people were wondering about. The meeting went very well and she felt it had been very positive. Members particularly wanted reassurance that everyone on the Electoral Roll would have a chance to say what they think of the proposals when it comes to the actual decision. This will be in April at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting. Meanwhilre, Revd Daughtery is giving the other two churches the same opportunity to ask their own questions so that everyone will fully understand the implications of the decision they will be taking. This coming Sunday, there will be a service of more informal worship, with music provided by a music group. It will be led by the Assistant Vicar, Revd Jeremy Bamber.

SUSSEX WILDLIFE TRUST is planning to extend its training and activity events in South Malling churchyard this summer. These will include Moth and Bat nights, so successful last year, reptile and Wildlife Training and butterfly identification events. A whole day Bioblitz Wildlife Survey is also being planned. They will take place between April and July. Watch this space for further details.

Mobile Library

THE LIBRARY will be visiting the following areas this week. Tuesday: Berwick village hall noon to 12.30pm; opposite Lamb Inn, Ripe 2pm to 2.25pm; Laughton village school 2.45pm to 3.30pm.

Nevill

INTERESTING FACTS: Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch. Law of Gravity: Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

NEVILL BONFIRE: The society will be holding a jumble sale at the Ringmer Village Hall on Saturday March 1. We will be collecting jumble on the Nevill Estate after 6pm on Friday February 28. Our next jumble at Ringmer will be Saturday May 24.

CHRIST CHURCH: Today, Friday, is our Half Term Messy Church event from 10.30am to 1pm. The theme is Love Rules and there will be various craft activities based around this theme suitable for all ages. Towards the end of the morning there will be a short act of worship which will be followed by a free lunch. All welcome but children must be accompanied by an adult. Worship on Sunday will be led by Rev John Gordon at 10.30am and this will be followed by a Congregational Meeting and Church Lunch.

WALLANDS SCHOOL: Jonathan Britnell was in two chess competitions last weekend. On Saturday the Sussex Junior Chess Eastbourne Grand Prix, in the U11 minor, he came fourteenth out of 54. Then on Sunday he represented Sussex U9s in Team B in a friendly event called 7 Counties Under-9 match in Newbury, Berkshire; well done Jonathan. Two teams of eight excited Year 4 children represented the school at a basketball festival held at Lewes Leisure Centre on Wednesday. This was organised by Sara Riley and a group of enthusiastic Year 9 Priory Sports Leaders, some of whom were ex-pupils, was well run and noisy. All 16 children had to beat the clock at seven different basketball skill activities; dribbling, shooting, passing and more. They had a great time and all were a credit to the school and themselves. Thank you to the adults who were able to support and transport. Well done to James Cragg who swam at High Wycombe Long Course Gala on February 8 and was placed second in the 50 metre Breaststroke, getting his county time.

Newhaven, Denton & South Heighton

ORCHID ADVICE: The Mid Sussex Orchid Society is returning to Paradise Park on Sunday from 11amto 4pm. Dr Gary and Maria Firth and society members will give visitors expert tips on orchid after care. There will also be a display of orchids.

U3A: Despite the inclement weather the February meeting of the Newhaven and Peacehaven U3A was so well attended extra chairs had to be brought out. Reuben gave a fascinating talk on Coincidence - Accident or Design citing many coincidences he has experienced. He also reminded members about the strong coincidental connections between Presidents Roosevelt and John F Kennedy. Many members added some of their own comments. The Cheapside Hoard trip is on March 5 and members should check on times for their pick up points. The next meeting is on March 6 in the main hall of the Meridian Centre. This will be the Spring Quiz meeting and there will also be a short talk by a Police Community Support Officer. New members are always welcome, for further information contact 01273 589953.

ST MICHAEL’S CHURCH is holding a coffee morning on Saturday March 8 from 10am to noon in the church rooms, cakes for sale,bric-a-brac table and raffle. All welcome.

Plumpton

GRAB A BARGAIN: Tomorrow (Saturday) the horticultural society will hold a jumble sale in the village hall starting at 2pm. Naturally there will be a cake stall, tombola and refreshments to help you relax after the thrill of the chase. If you have jumble to donate, please take it to the hall during the morning. Happy hunting.

COME RACING: Thrills without the spills is the hope for the horse racing at Plumpton on Monday. It will be ATR Raceday 2014 and there are bound to be some quality runners and riders to provide a super racing experience. The first race kicks off at 2.05pm.

POP-IN PARLOUR: The ever popular social event takes place every Tuesday in All Saints’ church annexe from 11am. A chance for a cuppa, a chinwag and even a light snack, including homemade soup. All are welcome.

POP-IN CAFÉ: A more recent social gathering is the café that will take place in the village hall on Thursday between 10am and 11.30am. Organised by the local Support Group for St Peter and St James Hospice it affords another opportunity to sit down and have a chat whilst enjoying a cuppa and a cake.

SAVE OUR GATES: There is a grave threat of Network Rail wishing to destroy our Victorian railway station complex in what it describes as safety measures, but many of us believe the opposite will be true and it is all down to saving money. However, a number of residents are determined to fight proposals relating to the crossing gates and to ensure that they and the signal box, which will become largely redundant, are preserved. The gates are likely to go, but whether they are replaced with something similar in appearance or those ghastly single barriers is open to question. Whatever, there is strong feeling about it all and David Holmes is setting up a Plumpton Signal Box/Crossing Gate Heritage Group to explore all options for protecting and preserving our local heritage. He is looking for like minded folk to join with him in exploring the various avenues that may be open. Posters giving preliminary details have been displayed round the village, but anyone with an interest in the project is asked to ring him 0n 01273 890191. Help from outside the village, from people interested in railways and our heritage, will be most welcome.

TALK TIME: To compensate for walks being cancelled because of the atrocious weather conditions, the Footpath Society will be holding a talk in the village hall on Wednesday. It will be by Tony Gladhill on Art and Illusion. The hall will open at 2pm for a 2.30pm start.

DISCUSSION GROUP: Antonia Price is contemplating starting an informal discussion group round her kitchen table with fine food and wine. She already has some interesting ideas for discussion such as Why Am I Here? And What is it all For? Anyone interested is invited to ring Antonia on 01273 890362 or make contact by email at anontiaprice@mac.com.

Ringmer

FIRST AID COURSE: Tomorrow (Saturday) there will be a Family First Aid Course in the village hall from 9.30am to 12.30pm. It will be run by Emma Hobden, a fully certificated first aider. Contact Emma on 07771907581 or ejhobden@gmail.com to book or for information.

JUMBLE SALE: Tomorrow (Saturday) there will be a Jumble Sale in the village hall at 2pm. Jumble may be left at the hall before the sale between 10am and 11am.

CHURCH SERVICES: The services on Sunday are 8am Holy Communion, 9.45am Family Eucharist, 6.30pm Evensong.

BRIDGE CLUB: At its meeting on Wednesday February 12, the result of the duplicate pairs played was: 1, Liz and Tim Owen; 2, Dianne and Mike Preece; 3, Alan Disney and Roy Skan. The club next meets in the St Mary’s Room of the village hall on Wednesday at 7.30pm. Contact 814220.

TABLE TOP SALE: Just a reminder that there are still some tables available at £5 for the Table Top Sale being held at Ringmer Community College on Saturday March 8 between 10am and noon. If you would like to book one please contact Ruth Whitlock on 01273 812220 ext 253 or email rwhitlock@ringmeracademy.org. There will be refreshments and free parking. Please come along and support the students who are trying to raise extra funds for the development of the school library.

VILLAGE QUIZ: There is still space for a few more teams at the Village Quiz, in aid of St Peter and St James Hospice, on March 8. Please contact Bob on 812784 for more details as soon as possible.

Rodmell & Southease

THE SMALL BIRDS disappearing from our garden are, I fear, becoming a feast for a sparrowhawk. I was out doing a little gardening between showers, when I heard a plaintive screeching and a sparrowhawk flew over me with a sparrow in its talons. It settled in the back garden to eat its meal, but I disturbed it, so it flew off with the poor sparrow still screeching. Such is nature.

I HAVE BEEN DRIVING along the lane that leads to Plumpton quite a bit recently and I can sympathise with Mavis Clark’s opinion of the bad driving along this road. On Tuesday February 11 I was driving along this road around 2pm and as it was flooded in areas, and one of my friends had almost written her car off recently through aqua-plaining, I decided 40mph was a reasonable speed when I had good vision ahead. A car driven by, I hate to say, a lady driver, overtook me and was gone in a flash. She was soon in the far distance and must have been doing at least 70mph. On a day when trees were down all over the place and surface water appeared out of nowhere speeding along narrow country lanes did not seem a great idea. I do hope she made it home safely.

COFFEE MORNING on Wednesday in the village hall at 11am. Everyone welcome.

PARISH MEETING, Monday March 3 in the village hall.

FLOODS: Well, to date Lewes flood defences seem to be working well which is good news especially when we see all the devastation over the rest of the country. Let’s face it, there is going to be plenty of work for people in the future in the clearing up process, and tree surgeons and the other services must be having to do hours of overtime to clear the devastation. People have also been pulling together well, as they did in the war years, many are stoic and smiling. Our thoughts are with all suffering the dreaded floods.

LIKE MANY people we have suffered the loss of most of the fencing around our property and land, and as we no longer have animals we can at least leave it to be repaired once these winds depart.

FOR 61 YEARS NOW I have had at intervals a recurring dream that I have to go with my friends to the top of Mount Caburn where we will be safe as we look down on the area of Lewes covered in water. On the Berkeley side of the family we are evidently known to have the gift of prophesy, so my cousins in Australia and Nova Scotia inform me, they also have it, and as a child I can certainly remember having odd things happen, but not so much in later life. My friends have been reminding me of the flood dream recently and readers may possibly remember that I wrote about it many years ago in the column. At my friend Jan Kurrell’s funeral (the astrologer) a lady from Piddinghoe told me she has the same dream. Should we be building an Ark? At university I was called, good humouredly, The Rodmell Witch, probably something to do with the fact that I always wore a wide brimmed black hat, that eventually was blown from my head whilst crossing Cliffe bridge and was last seen floating down the Ouse. I wonder did it take my powers with it? Only joking. Mike always says that with my odd fingers and toes I would have been burnt at the stake years ago. Thank goodness times have changed.